October 1, 2008

Miner Checking Oil When Injured, Probe Finds

Government investigators say a critically injured coal mine mechanic was checking the oil level on a piece of equipment when a protective shield was lowered onto his head accidentally.

The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration says 29-year- old Adam Perdue suffered massive facial fractures, lesions and bleeding in a preliminary report issued Tuesday. West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training spokeswoman Jama Jarrett says Perdue remains in critical condition.

MSHA says Perdue was working on the cutter of a highwall mining machine when the accident occurred about 11 p.m. Sunday at Alex Energy's No. 1 Surface mine in Nicholas County.

A spokesman for Alex Energy's corporate parent, Richmond, Va.- based Massey Energy Co., did not immediately return a call Tuesday.

- The Associated Press

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